We must defeat Donald Trump in 2020. For that, we need a robust debate among all our candidates. They must articulate their intent for a new America. The last forty years provided a continual decline for most Americans. And the largest generation alive now, millennials, in the aggregate are not seeing a path forward to true financial independence. They are looking for a candidate they believe will provide the populist policies we all need.
Something happened in the 2018 election that is likely to be more profound in 2020. And the polls will likely not catch it. Conventional wisdom would lead many to believe that since most of the newly elected Democrats were more centrists than the party's center of gravity, it would be best served from the middle. It is more likely that the increased progressive vote provided the winning margin in these elections. This reality was apparent in Texas Congressional District 7 where the DCCC interjected themselves in our local election with a right-wing style attack on Laura Moser who ultimately lost to Lizzie Pannill Fletcher. All the progressive groups coalesced around Fletcher, block walking, knocking on doors, and phone banking because they kept their eyes on the ball.
When American pollsters give Americans choices of policies, they reveal themselves as progressives. So why is it that their votes show centrism? The answer is obvious. The powers-that-be hoodwink them into believing the things they want most are unattainable. Worse, their leaders tell them that their wants would cost jobs or hurt the economy. In other words, fear is responsible for most Americans sticking to the mythical center.
Centrist-voting Americans are fighting for two basic wants. First and foremost they want Trump defeated in 2020. They also want middle-class centric, progressive policies. But to them, getting rid of Trump is more existential. So they will forego the policies if they believe fighting for them could cost them the election.
Middle-class-centric-policies require that particular word, redistribution, higher taxes on the rich. Neither wealthy Republicans nor Democrats want too much redistribution codified into law, Republicans more so than Democrats. As such even on the Democratic side, the more moderate candidate gets the nod. The media and the wards of the plutocracy then coalesce around that candidate to provide an air of inevitability. The media along with the punditry provide the fear-instilling narratives that make many vote against their interests.
One should not consider redistribution as a negative. Much of the passive income of the wealthy is nothing more than the wages not paid you for your intellect and service. Absent redistribution, our economic system is biased to the top and ultimately converges to complete wealth extraction from those without pricing power.
I had two interactions recently that I found probative. One was from a 71-year-old Democrat and the other from a millennial activist who never voted for a Democratic candidate but has become a Democrat because of how effective #DemEnter has been in the 2018 cycle.
The 71-year-old wrote the following rather lengthy comment on a recent post.
I'm wondering if Biden is ahead already in the polls simply because of name recognition/familiarity. I have to say, voting for him feels like a step back into more "establishment politics," something the 2016 election showed us most Americans are tired of and don't trust, for many reasons, and regardless of party. It seems like most of America doesn't want combative/adversarial politics, entrenched and rigid partisan (partial) views of life, unbalanced domination by any one party (as if one party has all the answers for all of America; doesn't and can't). Many independents, at least, are done with the power-hungry politics known as the Republican/Democrat duopoly. We need politics that considers the whole strata of our population: rich and poor, educated and uneducated, young and old, our whole society. There's too many limited, narrow-minded, old-school thinkers in politics, too many out for their own personal, short-sighted gain.
I'm 71 and am more drawn to the messages and thinking of candidates like Pete Buttigieg, Andrew Yang, Beto O'Rourke (so far) in that they're more about moving forward more than moving leftist or rightist, taking the best of both major parties, more than being just centrist, a higher view of sorts. It makes sense in the very complex country/world we live in. BTW, where are all the potential Republican candidates? Only one, Bill Weld, seems to have the willingness/courage to take on Trump. What's up with that? Does the Republican party believe Trump is their best hope? Really? Is there no vision among them?
Back to Biden. Do we really want another big-money-sponsored candidate? More same-old same old establishment politics? Besides, I don't think he has the political wits to face Trump effectively.
The millennial activist who recently appeared on one of our Politics Done Right shows fears a Trump reelection. But she somewhat fears a centrist Democrat more.
If a centrist or neoliberal like Joe Biden is elected and his administration maintains the status quo, it would leave the door open for the next Trump, a fascist on steroids. That is an outcome neither the United States of America or the world could survive.
While generations apart, there is some symmetry in what these two voters are saying. They both want to look forward policy-wise. While the older gentleman gives the impression of being centrist, he did not pick the most centrist candidates running. It is clear a populist candidate can bust the
inevitability bubble that reflects the need to run a centrist candidate which is likely to alienate Generation Zs, millennials, and young Gen Xers.